Sunday, June 22, 2014

I’m still here… in spirit at least


In my blog travels (I like to browse other’s personal blogs sometimes, just to see what’s on their minds & if I still hold the honor of being the most boring blogger on the internet) I’ll occasionally run across something like this:  “Sorry I haven’t posted anything for awhile, just been crazy busy!  I promise I’ll be back soon!”

Then I’ll check out the date of that post:  March 21, 2010.   I don’t think they’re coming back.  I wonder, if a personal blogger falls in the Internet Forest, does anyone notice?  Or care?

I always promised myself I wouldn’t do that, if I didn’t have something worthwhile to write about (cough) then my last post could stand on its own.  But it’s been three weeks now & I’ve still got nothing I feel compelled to share.  Just been going to work & enjoying the warmer weather, started Stephen King’s latest novel (a surprisingly un-supernatural crime thriller “Mister Mercedes”) and doing a lot of thinking about a lot of nothing. 

Well, it seems that lately I’ve been getting questions about earlier stuff I’ve shared on here—maybe a follow-up is in order. 

So until we meet again, hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  Smile


Monday, June 2, 2014

Ann B. Davis: hello & goodbye (and a brief but personal memory if that’s okay)


Well, it’s been a day since Ann B. Davis passing, and I can’t help but feel a little sad.  I’m just another one of the hundred million Brady fans out there who watched the show and wished for an Alice for our bunch of six kids as well.  She was just one of the guys, a friend and confidante, but an adult when you needed her to be. 

And c’mon, who wouldn’t want to come home from school and find Alice in your kitchen basting a giant meatloaf?

There’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t been already said or felt in a thousand other places, other than a brief moment when I got to meet Ms. Davis in person.

In 1993 while working downtown as an IT consultant at the Department of Aging, I received a call one afternoon from my friend Sue (a contractor like me who worked at another county office, MHMR).  She said “Doug, it’s Sue—I’m calling from Warner Centre, Jerry & I came up here for lunch and guess who was right behind us on the stairs?  Alice from the Brady Bunch!”  

At the time, it was known that Ann Davis had settled in Ambridge, Pa (about 15 miles north of Pittsburgh) some years before.  (She was very religious and lived with an Episcopalian minister’s family.)  Anyway, Sue knew of my Brady.. whatever and said “You better get over here!”

 Warner Centre on Fifth Avenue, downtown; it was a movie theater for most of Pittsburgh’s history, but had become a collection of shops with a food court on the second floor by the time I moved to town.  It was steps from my office.

I said “Well Sue, I’d feel kinda silly…” and she said “C’mon, it’s just around the corner!” I grabbed my coat and ran for the elevator.

When I got inside Warner and up the stairs, I looked about for Jerry & Sue, and saw them sitting in front of the Chinese place. 

Sue saw me and motioned towards the Chick-fil-a, and I saw HER:  Ann B. Davis, with her purse on a chair, a Kaufmann’s shopping bag at her feet, and eating by herself. 

I was in shock, other than 3-4 people who were watching her from a table nearby, no one had approached her.  I shrugged my shoulders and walked up to Ann’s table.  I said  “Excuse me, Ms. Davis, hi I’m sorry for interrupting your lunch… I just wanted to say hello and that I’m a big fan.  I’m sure you get that a lot.”  She smiled at me and said “Yes I DO get that a lot, but thank you.  What’s your name?” I said “Um.. Doug” and she said “Well it was nice meeting you Doug, take care and God bless.”

Feeling embarrassed, I smiled and nodded quickly and thanked her and backed away, then hurried down the stairs and back to the office.  Later that day,  Sue called and said “Why didn’t you join us at our table?  You could’ve watched her read her magazine!” and we both had a good laugh.   Still, it was a moment I’ll never forget.  

Ms. Davis honestly felt like a relative, like a great aunt I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Michelle & me at lunch, Warner Center downtown

My former coworker Michele & myself at the Warner Centre food court, in ‘93

The ironic thing here is, just a couple months ago I learned that Warner’s food court was shut down.  And I was reminded of the many good times there with friends, and meeting Ms. Davis in person.

Ann, take care & God Bless